Bits from Dennis Lindsey and Phil Johnson Interviews, 12/13
What did you tell Richard Jefferson what his role would be when you acquired him?
You know, that’s a terrific question, and it was real simple…He’s been able to play in the league, knock on wood, without serious injury for a long time, and if he wants to play three, four more years, you know, who better to guide him through that process than someone who played 16 in the y–16 years in the league with Ty Corbin. …
I told him, you know, I think he’ll be pleasantly surprised that, you know, Ty doesn’t have subplots with players, and doghouses. And that, you know, if he really wanted to breathe life into his career, just come in, you know, report early, report in shape, do what he’s told, be a good soldier, you know, help lead the young guys in the–pull ’em in the right direction.
And Richard’s of very high character. He’s played for a lot of good programs. He’s very bright…I’m happy for the guy. You know, I really am, and you know, I know he’s earned Ty’s trust over time.
** Lindsey’s description of Brandon Rush: Big, wide shoulders and plus-length.
** Lindsey’s description of DeMarcus Cousins: A real big, heavy load to handle inside.
On Derrick Favors’ finishing
We’ve really been on Derrick, really since the off-season, about his non-dunk finishing. Anytime he gets on top of the rim, you know, he’s a superior athlete, and he’s long, and strong, and he finishes well.
But a lot of NBA finishing, you can’t get on top of the rim. You gotta go, you know, around a defender; you gotta make a flip shot over a helping defender.
And so, Derrick, the last two games or so–take out the few games that he missed with a sore back–and I think he’s done a really good job at, you know, face-up finishing where he’s attacking the rim, and we’re very excited about that.
On Alec Burks’ finishing
Ty was, you know, trying to find a rotation, you know, with a bunch of mismatched parts because of the injuries and the newness and the youth of our team. And you know, I think, you know, Alec really grinded through that period.
You know, I had a few conversations with he and his agent, and we were trying to be supportive. Johnnie Bryant gets a lot of credit towards where his finishing has been the last seven, eight games…
And what we’ve tried to do is tell Alec to get the ball up, and not jack-knife as much; not, you know, contort as much…He’ll still contort and maneuver, and I know the crowd gets a big kick out of it, but real simple, athletic finishes are what I prefer.
** Dennis Lindsey, UDQM: Believe it or not, I know this sounds crazy, but literally I made a teaching tape way back when of John Stockton finishing.
** Dennis Lindsey, UDQM: What Johnnie and Alec did was they went to work. They pulled out the pads, and you know, and Alec got pounded pretty good.
** Gordon Monson on Jeremy Evans, UDQM: I call him a “wave guy.” A guy who comes in waves.
On Jeremy Evans
In some ways, he could be our Darrell Armstrong, and if you will, let me explain. You know, Darrell Armstrong was a, you know, a third-string point guard from a small school, and Orlando took him. And he sat on the bench, I don’t know what it was, two or three seasons, and basically didn’t play. You know, he was a very situational player. Much like Jeremy played, but when he played, he played well.
And he’s of great character, and great energy, and you know, Jeremy’s sworn that, you know, we could win by two points and him not play a minute, and he’s happy for the group. So he’s got such a pure heart that, you know, we could get some leadership ability, and we’re just tickled that he’s moving from a situational player to an every-night player. And then we’ll just see where it goes from here.
We have him under contract for another year, but you know, as much as anything, we’re really proud of, you know, his character and the way he’s, you know, he’s grinded his way into being a rotational player, and someone who plays with great energy, and who’s a good finisher. (1280)
On the Enes Kanter-Derrick Favors frontcourt
I had my questions about that from the very beginning…They both can make about a 15-foot jumpshot, but neither one of them are a “stretch” big man, as they call it now, or an outside big man. So, and neither one of them are particularly good at play-making. I’m talking about passing.
So I had my questions as to what, how good they would be, how well they would play together. I think that’s going to play out as time goes on, but I suspect that, I don’t think they’ll ever be really that successful playing together. They’re gonna have to change their game some and improve quite a bit on some areas…
In today’s game, you need people that can make perimeter shots. And what happens when those two big guys are in there–and particularly when Trey Burke wasn’t there. Of course, they’ve added him now–it really clogs up the middle and they’re not able to get to, and no one else is able to get to the basket because of those big guys are in there.
And then there’s the issues defensively as well, because when the other team has a stretch player such as Ryan Anderson from New Orleans, th–it’s difficult for those guys to guard those people.
So you know, there are some question marks, but that’s what this year’s all about, is to find that out. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong. I don’t know, but they’re still just so, they’re so young. They’re so, they’ve got so much improvement ahead of them.
And I think the biggest question mark in my mind, as far as Kanter’s concerned, is his defense, and whether, he really has to improve defensively. Favors is really a very good defender now, but Kanter really has to pr–improve defensively.
What role do you think fits best for Alec Burks?
I think he had the misfortune all summer of everybody talking about that “Core Five,” starting this, when the season started.
And then when Ty[rone Corbin] decided to bring him off the bench–which I thought was a very good move, by the way. I had suggested that, as a matter of fact–but, he, I think it hurt his psyche a little bit.
And he’s a young player. Some players really have a hard time with that. And, you look at some of the older players that have done that in the past, that, they can handle it a lot better. And I think that hurt him a little bit early.
And then he had to play some backup point, or point guard, and I think that, he’s not equipped to do that a great deal. He’s okay doing it when Gordon Hayward’s out there, but, and that’s, so I think what’s happened now is that when Trey Burke has come back, and they’ve kind of established that core of those two guys playing the point guard situation, in [Diante] Garrett and Burke, I think that he is, he’s settled in now and I think that he’s just playing better basketball. He’s not rushing…
Players have to learn this coming off the bench: They, you don’t have to do something great every time you touch the ball. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to swing the ball, to swing it to someone else instead of every time it touches your hand, you’ve got to make a play; you’ve got to do something great. Well, I think he fell victim to that a little bit, thinking that when he came in, he had to do a lot in a short period of time. (KALL)